Welcome to this week’s version of The Hill. Obviously, we’re as disappointed in Da’Rick Rogers as the rest of the fans and are waiting to see how the team will react without him. There are conflicting reports out there as to what exactly happened, but we believe that there was a recent incident over the weekend that was the final straw rather than the drug test rumor that has circulated today. Obviously, Da’Rick has been a controversial player for awhile. We have heard of at least one major incident that somehow managed to not make the headlines as long ago as his first summer on campus. Cordarelle Patterson making it into school made Da’Rick much more expendable than before, and Rogers finally wore out his welcome. It’s hard to imagine a guy with that much physical talent getting to a point where he is no longer welcome on the team, but it confirms the reputation he has carried for awhile. Make no mistake; team chemistry will improve. There was a great discussion on the podcast tonight about the Rogers situation and its affect on the team. Check the forum for a link to listen or download it on iTunes. Also, be sure to check back this week as we lead up to the first game.
Even with three interceptions, Tennessee fans got to see how much of a gamer QB Riley Ferguson is. He refuses to miss a game due to his thumb injury and shows good leadership. It’s unfortunate for him that his injury will limit his effectiveness during his senior season.
If a spot opens up at USC due to an academic casualty, expect them to be a major threat for DB Tahaan Goodman.
WR Marquez North mentioned in a recent interview that Tennessee was recruiting him hard, but we believe that Tennessee will go full steam ahead for WR Jonathan Rumph. He has the size the staff looks for in a wide receiver.
TE Beau Sandland was given a scholarship offer, and UT is fighting for a visit. He would be one of the best gets in the class. Keep an eye on him.
We expect DB Vonn Bell to be a Vol. The same goes for DT Toby Johnson and OL Reeve Koehler.
Tennessee is in a good position for LB Jermaine Grace. Miami will be there until the end, but Hinshaw has a knack of getting players like this.
For RB’s, Derrick Green and Derrick Henry are top targets. UT will be in the top 3 for Green, but how much of a chance we will have will depend on how long he stretches his recruitment. We still feel good about Derrick Henry. As we’ve already said, his visit for the Florida game (along with a lot of other guys) will be very important. Some have predicted Bama for Henry him, but UT is very much in the picture here.
Another RB, Alvin Kamara is a guy that is one of the most exciting players in this class. It would be a surprise if he ended up at Tennessee, but as we’ve said he hasn’t gotten "the feeling” from UGA yet. Also, UT is in good position with RB AJ Turman and RB David Williams. One of those guys could end up in this class depending on how everything shakes out.
The recruiting board still has a CB spot that needs to be filled. If UT does not flip anyone and misses on CB MacKensie Alexander, it may close the deal with CB Donald Gray. He has huge upside.
DE DeMarcus Walker will decide on Friday, and we expect him to end up at Bama. Reeves-Maybin has been talking to him about the Vols, but we doubt it will be enough to change sway him.